The CHRISTmas season is always eagerly and joyfully anticipated around here. We put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving and camp under the tree that night. Then we enjoy nightly story time around the tree complete with hot chocolate or apple cidar. We anxiously wait for our light rides and many other traditions that we carry on year to year.
This year CHRISTmas was a JOY-filled celebration from the minute the first decoration went up, and it hasn't stopped yet.
I was rather disappointed that our CHRISTmas would be somewhat smaller this year than what we've done in the past for our children. My van was hit by an uninsured motorist in November at the same time that our Golden Retriever, Scarlet was diagnosed and treated for heartworms. A combination of vet visits and the deductible to have the van repaired greatly reduced our CHRISTmas budget. The kids said many times over that they were okay with less presents this year, but I couldn't come to terms with it.
Then the Friday before CHRISTmas, I woke up with a different perspective. I might not be able to give the kids the material things that I'd like to, but I could give them something so much more important that would last a lifetime. I made it my mission for the seven days that followed to make memories with my kids. We built a gingerbread house, baked cookies, made candy, rode around and looked at lights, and our favorite tradition - carolled to friends and neighbors.
CHRISTmas morning we woke up early to see what Santa had brought. I was thrilled that even though the presents under the tree were fewer than years passed, the kids still felt like they had a huge CHRISTmas.
We truly learned this year that the best CHRISTmas gift is CHRIST who is Emmanuel, GOD WITH US and also the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. We have enjoyed each other and this entire season so much. We are so immensely blessed. God has given us so much.